I am a vegetarian who does not mind eating eggs. While in China I found it was extremely difficult to find good vegetarian food. Non-Veg food is an integral part of Chinese Cuisine Vegetarians in China are an endangered species which is on the verge of extinction. If I order a tofu curry in India, it will surely be a vegetarian dish. In China it is just as likely to contain shrimps or meat. I thought it will be good to share my experience with fellow Vegetarian travelers.
How to say?
When in China, you can say: " Wo chi sù " which means "I eat vegetarian", or still better to have it written on paper by in Chinese script. This generally means Buddhist vegetarian, which means you also won't get any garlic or onions. These dishes often contain imitation meats made from soya, or gluten, and are often described as the real thing.
Or if you are tech savvy and believe in travelling with a Cell Phone always it's always good to have a handy app installed. One of the apps which I used is Vegetarian in China. It lists down various vegetarian restaurants in China.
** Waiters are called fu yay and Water is Shwey
One of the safest options is to eat at the Buddhist Temples, many of them run a small restaurant serving simple vegetarian cuisine. The quality can vary amongst various temples but it's a great option if you are in China and are not sure what food you can count on not to contain meat.
Buy your Fruits
During my visit I felt the quality of fruits is pretty good in China and you can buy variety of fruits from a departmental store and relish them whenever you want. The fruits taste a bit different from those in India but I quite liked it.
Carry Indian Food ( Ghar ka Khana)
Although I believe in eating the local food during my travels, but I have seen many Indians who carry Maggie noodle packets, pickle, paranthas, theplas, khakharas and what not. You also might carry such stuff and feel like home when away from home.
Your dear Chinese friend
I personally used this trick. I always tried to have a Chinese speaking person (friend) along while going to dine. He explained the vegetarian requirements to the Waiters in Mandarin and I ended up eating some lip smacking custom made Vegetarian Chinese Delicacies.
I hope you enjoyed reading the story. Please share it with your vegetarian friends. Cheers !!
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This blog was originally published on 'Yatripandit'